Monday, December 06, 2010

My Coupon Notebook

"Wow! That is beautiful!"

As I stood in the isle of King Soopers (Krogers in other parts of the country), I heard a women beside me commenting on something in my grocery cart. No, it wasn't my worn out purse. Or, the faded sweater tossed over the edge.

Ahhh, it was my blue 'coupon notebook' nestled in the front part of the grocery cart and open to the 'bread' section. (Pillsbury rolls were on sale, and with my coupons I was about to get a half dozen free!)

The notebook is a WalMart back-to-school special. The 'pages' are for baseball cards holders from Target. The tabs were designed to fit my personal shopping needs in alphabetical order. Batteries-Breads-Cleaning Supplies-Juice-Laundry-Meats-Paper Products-Pasta-Pet-Rice-Toothpaste-Vegs-and so on.

The woman went on to tell me she had just started a coupon class at her church, and she was quite excited to start using coupons on a regular basis in order to save money.

As I gave her several of my homemade business cards listing my coupon blog (this one), and my email address, she promised to give one to the coupon teacher at her church. I'm looking forward to hearing from them.

While professional coupon shoppers are quite likely to be discovered in most every isle of your favorite store, each one has their individual method of storing, shopping, and organizing. The 'notebook" is just my personal preference.

My friend, Buffy, keeps her coupons sorted in boxes at home and only carries what she plan to use as she shops. Others cut out their coupons just before shopping. Some carry a few in their purse. I prefer to store all my coupons in my coupon note book and take it with me as I shop. You never know when you're going to find a close-out on something. Or, you find an unadvertised deal on laundry detergent that offers enough free Tide to last a year with coupons added to the special price. Palmalive dish soap is another frequent freebie.

Each week as new coupons are posted online or after the Sunday paper coupons come in, I search for my favorite products and cut out any coupons. I'm able to get extras at my work on Sunday, so this has been very helpful. (I do save the coupons that I don't cut out for my notebook. Sometimes I mail coupons to my kids and coupon-saving sister, Sandy.)

If you can locate a newspaper carrier in your neighborhood, stop and ask them if they have a source for the Smart Source and Red Plum coupon booklets. For a little tip each week, they might drop off extras at your house. I happen to know that hundreds of these booklets are TOSSED OUT by newspaper carriers after they insert them into their Sunday papers.

In the evenings while hubby and I watch a few of our favorite TV programs, I organize the coupons into my coupon notebook.

Each week, I search the local grocery store weekly deals (including Walgreens and Target), to see where I want to use my coupons this week. Be forewarned, if it's a really good deal, the item will be 'off the shelf" by the day after! That's how I'm positive that there are far more serious coupon shoppers than we are aware of!

In my case, my coupon notebook includes sections for things I regularly use in my home. We live in a small apartment where space is limited, so getting 12 gallons of "free' milk is not cost effective for me. Getting 12 rolls of free tissue paper and storing them in the garage is my idea of great coupon usage. I have secret stashes of cereal (Honey-nut Cheerios for 97-cents a box is the highest I will pay), pasta, tuna, ziploc bags, popcorn, hot chocolate, bath cleaners, shampoo, pet food, and more.

I hope this helps those who are interested in using coupons. Maybe you can pick and choose how you will use your coupons. I can promise that you will never pay for toothpaste, bath tissue, dish soap, laundry detergent, or Kleenex again.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life and coupons,

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